WHITEHORSE – On April 7, 2017, Yukon signed onto the Canada Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) which allows the territory to choose 10 projects a year up to $1 million to exempt from national procurement and limit to local competition. Despite this being 322 days ago, the Liberals still have not identified all of the 10 projects for this fiscal year. This delay is preventing local companies from benefitting from this provision.
“Yukon trade negotiators fought hard so that we could choose 10 projects a year that would go to local companies, and unfortunately the delays by this government mean that Yukon contractors are missing out on some great opportunities,” said Stacey Hassard, interim leader of the Official Opposition.
For example, on January 31, 2018, the government tendered a project to rehabilitate nine bridges. 4 companies from outside the territory bid on this project while 1 local company bid. The low bidder is from British Columbia.
“Instead of bundling 9 bridges together into one tender, the Liberals could have split them up and used the special exemptions under the CFTA to ensure these projects went to local companies,” added Hassard. “This government needs to do a better job of supporting our local contractors.”